In their third match against World No. 1 Australia, India demonstrated their never-say-die spirit by scoring in the 60th minute to win 4-3 and preserve the five-match series.
India Captain Harmanpreet Singh made sure his team adhered to the strong defensive structure to the letter after stressing it on the eve of the game. They impressed with their one-on-one defence to contain the Australian forward line who have shown rampaging form so far in this five-match Series, giving the home team a 2-1 series lead. When Australia was given a PC following India’s foot-foul in the circle, they had the opportunity to tie the score early in the second quarter. However, veteran Indian goalie PR Sreejesh made excellent saves. Along with his wingman Surender, he stopped two more shots on goal after stopping Jeremy Hayward’s dragflick. However, when Australia won their second PC in the 25th minute, they didn’t waste the chance. Hayward’s flick was successfully blocked by Sreejesh, but Welch nicked the ball past him on the rebound. India stepped up their attack, and in the 47th minute they scored their second PC of the game. Harmanpreet responded favourably to an effective injection from Abhishek, setting up the injector to deflect the ball into the post. Abhishek refined the variation until it was effective. Later, he collaborated with Shamsher Singh to help India claim their third PC. Unfortunately, the opportunity was lost due to a subpar execution. He nevertheless cautioned the players against giving their rivals too many opportunities. In this instance, giving up eight PCs. “It was a better defensive effort today. We put up a good fight back on a couple of occasions,” expressed India’s Chief Coach Graham Reid after the match.India Vs Australia Match 5 – Sunday 4 December (1100hrs IST).